Normally this blog is about videogames, but today is about a different kind of game. The summer game! Baseball, of course!
Scott Feldman Reborn?
Here’s an insight for you baseball fans. The Astros’ Scott Feldman is one of those veteran pitchers who’s now vacillating between the bullpen and a starting role. He’s 31, has been pitching in the majors since 2004, and has been doing a pretty good job this season, 5-3 with a 2.76 ERA, down from last year’s 3.90. But he was bumped to the bullpen in late April and like all pitchers who signed on as starters and are now essentially filling in where needed, Feldman feels a little lost.
The interesting part is that, pushed out of his comfort zone, Feldman is now experiencing a renaissance of sorts as his fastball, typically in the high 80s, is now blazing in the mid 90s. That’s the kind of velocity difference that marks the gap between a control pitcher and a strikeout artist.
Yesterday, Feldman got his chance to show how his velocity holds up in a five-inning spot start against the Angels. He gave up a single unearned run, struck out two, and didn’t walk a man. The key data, though, is his average fastball velocity, which came in at 90.7 MPH. That’s pretty good, since it takes a lot of fastballs to get through five innings.
Although a far cry from his best average of the year, which was 94.3 MPH in a one-inning relief stint against the White Sox on May 19, he threw harder yesterday than in any of his other 2016 starts, where his FBv varied from 88.0 to 89.4 MPH. Is he better as a reliever than as a starter? Hard to say, and that depends on the needs of the team. But here’s to Feldman’s revival. It just goes to show that your comfort zone is often the last place you want to be. I think that’s true of life as well as games of all sorts.
Bending (the Rules) Like Beckham
Okay, you gotta check out this pitching delivery:
Baseball’s an old sport, and a conservative one. But as we all know there are some old rules that haven’t kept up with the times, like the “ghost tag” that umpires allow around second base and the various nuances of what gets called a strike at home plate.
That’s why this guy — Carter Capps of the Marlins — is such a shocker. But the fact is… if the rules don’t clearly indicate that you can’t leap off the mound and throw your pitch when you land… well, you can. And as a result you’re the best and most cheesy reliever in the game, circa 2016. I mean, that crap is just hilarious.
But come 2017, we’d better see a freakin’ rule change, because that crap is just cheating.